Finding Bob Norton

Finding Bob Norton

So not heard much from this search in long time, but Drone tech is far more available now as is other radios and techniques. Bob Edwards now runs a great consult called HOP Coaching if your in industry I suggest you check it out. Most of my bosses over time really need a dose of WTF slap, then need listen to Mr. Edwards.


On Feb 19, 2009, Missionary Bob Norton was piloting a C-182 in Venezuela on a mission for Adventist Missionary Aviation. Bob, his wife Neiba, and their five passengers never arrived at their destination and a massive search conducted by friends and colleagues ensued. The team (including the Civil Protection of Bolivar, Venezuela) have attempted to find the wreckage unsuccessfully for many years. Led by close friend Bob Edwards, there have been many efforts to find clues to this tragedy, and many diverse strategies have been employed in the effort to provide answers and closure. To learn more about the search here is a link to a great video that Bob Edwards a TTU Alumni made. Ronnie Norton also has posted some YouTube content about it.

I got involved with this project while still at TTU in 2011. Bob Edwards came to a design class to recruit young minds to help him tackle the challenges of searching and understanding what happened to Bob Norton.

Bob E. wanted a prove of concept design that a radio repeater could go up in a weather balloon and maintain contact with a drone plane miles out flying search patterns. Being a Radio operator and a mechanical engineer it sounded like fun. So later it could be deployed other search and rescue missions, as fast and quick as an onsite tower in most conditions. It would help to signal the drones searching dense jungle for the plane, and even act as a repeater for any communication.

The web page at has came up and down but the Facebook is always been active.

I finished the project mostly on my own, but the flight I had many show up to help on launch day from the CRA group. I also received 3 credit hours, toward my degree at TTU.

Launch Day
Balloon Repeater in the Air

Thanks to

Dr. Ken Hunter, AJ4ZA

Jack Daniel, KJ4MFJ    ARES

The Daniel Family

Dr. Jeffrey Austen, K9JA

Dean Carothers, W4ZWM

Cookeville Repeater Association

and Bob Edwards KG4GLJ